Monday, December 13, 2010

Beware Hubris

I was askin' for it . . . Recently I blogged about how my vegan diet had provided me with a certain level of protection from germs. Prior to being vegan I picked up every little thing the husband, kids and dogs dragged in, and I always got it so much worse than the others. That's what a chronic illness will do for you -- a weaker immune system. This month as I watched family members laid flat with a nasty cold, I looked back over the year and realized it had been a while -- a really long while -- since I'd been sick myself. I have to attribute the wellness to the vegan lifestyle, since that is the variable that has changed. So I got to feeling special and trumpeted my good fortune to the blogosphere, all the while ignoring that little voice in the back of my head, "Beware hubris!"

Well, long story short, I'm sick now. I'd love to blame it on the allergy I get to the Christmas tree every year, but the truth is it hit me all at once as I was digging into a delicious Veggie Grande Burrito (no cheese, no sour cream) at La Parrilla prior to our choosing the tree. Suddenly my vision blurred, I got dizzy and feverish and achy all over. Since we had driven two cars (only three of us can fit in my son's truck, which we had brought for the tree) I skipped the tree-choosing and went straight home for some of Alicia's Healing Tea. I felt great while drinking it, then CRAVED Hilary's Sweet Curried Collard Greens from her blog-on-hiatus, Plate+Simple. When I looked into the 'fridge to see how sad, limp and yellow my old collards were, I rallied and drove out into the blustery snow (yes, snow in Georgia!) for a new armful of collards. The first stop, Publix, only offered prewashed, bagged collards.  Nuh-uh. So I continued to Kroger for a giant gorgeous bouquet of collards for 79 cents!  I LOVE a bargain!  So I blew my savings on a Synergy Trilogy, rationalizing that it is medicinal. And actually, like the Healing tea, I did feel well while I was drinking the Synergy. Coming back in out of the cold, here's my countertop before creating my crave:

Buoyed by the health drink, I also rallied to make tuna noodle and cheese casserole for my husband. By the time I was done cooking, I was feeling pretty rotten again. so I didn't take a photo of the finished collards, but you have seen them before on the blog. They were very satisfying.

In looking back over the last couple of months, I am reminded of a much earlier time in my life. I was a very young professional, fresh out of college, working for a Museum under construction in Washington, D.C. I was a bit of a "Jill of all trades" but my main duties included speech writing and correspondence for the Chairman, events-planning and fundraising. Leading up to a major event, working with members of congress, celebrities and even foreign dignitaries, the days were long and stressful. Running on adrenaline, 12-hour workdays were not uncommon. Strangely, without fail, when an event was finished and I took a deep breath and relaxed for the first time in weeks, I would then be beset with illness, usually of an upper-respiratory variety. Why didn't I get sick in the midst of all the long days and the stress?  My best guess would be adrenaline.

I am reminded of this earlier time in my life because I am currently coming off a rather stressful chapter, with my son's migraines and my husband's and daughter's colds. Everyone seems to be well now, so I've been able to relax my mama vigilance a tad. Maybe the adrenaline dip is why I've succumbed to the latest opportunistic germ. Who knows. I do believe I have generally been much healthier this year being vegan, but I'm not Supergirl the way I had been imagining myself. I'm up in the middle of the night, now, dizzy and uncomfortable. Despite a very long list and a short timeframe, I will have to impose at least a day of rest upon myself tomorrow.  Maybe that will be enough! It's an interesting experiment -- my first vegan sinus malady.  Will keep you posted.


  1. Rest and get well... and don't to much too soon once you're feeling better.